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Marx’s idealistic view of socialism involved actions that would better serve society within the realm of unselfish inspiration, a society not interested in existing social inclinations. The wealth of a nation should be divided not according to greed but to need. He sees the technological advances of the modern world as the basis for entire societies to be redistributed in accordance to the requirements of the upper class. Marx theorized that the upper-class controls the formation and definition of these ideologies so as to prevent people in the lower-class from knowing how society truly operates. For example, literature was used to form social ideology in eighteenth century England. Today, literature has been replaced by the media. This discussion will introduce Marx’s social theories and then investigate how they are put into practice within the media by analyzing the film Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd.
The central concepts of Marxist economics include the theory of labour value, the disposition of production and the inevitable conflicts between the classes. Conflicts will always persist because the upper class can never totally control the lower classes. Lesser concepts include the idea of increased misery, the obsession with possessions and the consequences of economic alienation. Marx’s theories of labour value combined with his concepts of capitalism endeavour to clarify how the revenue system operates to the benefit of the upper classes and the detriment of the lower classes. Marx defines wealth as something produced by labour from resources originating in the natural world. In terms of capitalism, wealth becomes a vast accrual of possessions. Commodities are articles of wealth created solely as a means to exchange other objects so as to enhance wealth. The instruments of production such as factories, railroads and land are considered capital when they are employed to exploit human labour in order to
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